A Boeing
Delta II rocket is set to thunder into space to help NASA
seek answers to some fundamental questions about the universe.

The Delta II will launch the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) from
Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on
June 30 at 3:46:46 p.m. EDT. The launch window will last 12 minutes.

To accommodate the payload requirements, Boeing will use a 10-foot
composite fairing on a three-stage rocket for the very first time.

“This launch demonstrates the flexibility of the Delta II rocket
to meet our customers’ needs with varying capabilities and interfaces
while providing the same demonstrated reliability time after time,”
said Joy Bryant, Boeing director of NASA expendable launch program.
“It also demonstrates our continuing commitment to NASA’s space
exploration efforts.”

The MAP mission is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
in Greenbelt, Md. Its goal is to address five fundamental questions in

Will the universe expand forever or will it eventually collapse?
Is the universe dominated by exotic dark matter?
What is the shape of the universe?
How and when did the first galaxies form?
Is the expansion of the universe accelerating?

To answer these questions MAP will produce an accurate full-sky
map of the cosmic microwave background temperature fluctuations with
high sensitivity and angular resolution.

The Boeing Delta II 7425-10 rocket features the Boeing-built
Rocketdyne RS-27 main engine and four solid rocket motors (SRM). The
SRMs will separate from the first stage at 68 seconds after liftoff.
The spacecraft will be released into space at approximately 86 minutes
after liftoff.

The Boeing Co. is the largest aerospace company in the world and
the United States’ leading exporter. It is the world’s largest NASA
contractor and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and
military aircraft.

The company’s capabilities in aerospace also include rotorcraft,
electronic and defense systems, missiles, rocket engines, launch
vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. The
company has an extensive global reach with customers in 145 countries
and manufacturing operations throughout the United States, Canada and

Note to Editors:
Departure on launch day from the Gate 1 Pass &
Identification Building for Press Site 1 will be at 2:30 p.m. A NASA
MAP mission badge is required for all media covering the launch at
Press Site 1. Annual KSC badges or other Space Shuttle launch
credentials will not be honored on MAP launch day. After launch media
may leave unescorted for the return to Gate 1. At all other times, an
escort is required for all other areas of Cape Canaveral Air Force

Remote Cameras

Media wishing to establish remote cameras at the launch pad should
meet at the NASA-KSC News Center at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, June 29 to be
escorted to Space Launch Complex 17.